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Secrets Untold

We sometimes perceive that some thing wrong in our lives is someone else's fault. At an extreme this is called anit-social behavior. It impacts us all at times. I will look for someone to blame when I can't find my shoes, and let's not talk about other drivers.

Part of this is habitual, just a little the way we think, the product of being "stuck" to those thoughts. In a defensive stance, we believe what we think is true, and then act as if it were. As I have said recently, at best, our thinking is no more than an estimate of what is going on around us. It cannot be a certainty. Voltaire said: "Doubt is not a very pleasant state of mind, certainty is absurd." At the worst, our thinking is often totally useless, and stands in the way of experiencing life directly.

And yet, Sartre said that we are condemned to be free. I think what he meant is that we are condemned to choose. We choose everything, even to misplace our shoes. We choose and we choose. Choice is the gateway to change, and in the choosing comes the responsibility for that choice, and the responsibility for ourselves. As Dean Schlecht once said: "If you don't like your story, change it."

If believing what you think to be true, acting it out, and not finding circumstances that you like, change your thinking.

In the end who besides ourselves is responsible for the choices we make, the thoughts we think, the feelings, our behaviors and the life we live.

It has nver been so important for us to change, individually and collectively. An unknown monk wrote in the 11th century:

"When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world.

I found that it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation.

When I found that I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town, I couldn't change the town, and as an older man, I tried to change my family.

Now as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation, and I could indeed have changed the world."

And finally a poem by an anonymous vet:

Secrets Untold

Just go quiet in the night.

Would you tell the story if you thought it would help?

Or have you simply lost faith in our supercilious concern?

Do not question your belief,

You are right.

Just go quiet in the night.

You can see our arrogance,

Our all-consuming greed,

Battle lines drawn for the next I-Phone.

You know.

Just go quiet in the night.

We will not miss you,

Not recognize your passing,

Till you hit the floor

With a silence.

Just go quiet in the night.

You cannot understand,

Understand what?

We are consumed

Like a ravenous dog eating our own souls.

Just go quiet in the night.

You must not regret,

What could you have known?

You believed our needful lies,

Shed the blood we required.

Just go quiet in the night.

Don't look back with pleading hope,

That somehow, someway, it could all

Be different.

It could not.

Just go quiet in the night.

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